• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Field Marshall Haig: “The Butcher of the Somme”?

Extracts from this document...


Field Marshall Haig: "The Butcher of the Somme"? A. Source A was written by Haig himself in June 1916, 1 month before the battle started. It is biased, as it was Haig himself who wrote it. It is also a primary source so there would have been no interference over time. This source gives Haig's views about modern warfare. This source could be used as a criticism of Haig, showing his coldness towards his troops. In some ways it proves that Haig did not care about the lives of his men but it also shows that no one else knew what to do either. Source A shows us that Haig knows that men will die: "...be won without the sacrifice of men's lives." Field Marshall Haig is prepared to sacrifice people's lives in order to gain some land and release pressure on Verdun: "... must be prepared to see heavy casualty lists." When Haig says, "The nation must be taught to bear losses", it makes it sound as though he doesn't care about his soldiers. However, Haig is being realistic and facing the truth, that there will be heavy casualties and people should expect this as then it wont be such a shock to them. B. After studying both source B and source C, I trust source C more. ...read more.


It is not a strategy at all, it's slaughter" almost everyone else knew it was slaughter but Haig wouldn't listen to what people said. "He knew he had no chance" only Haig thought that this strategy. I found out that G was a secondary source and it was written many years after the war in the 1930s by the German's. The source says that there was no point particularly in the war but the consequences were definitely great. The battle gave the "Western Powers confidence...accomplished an achievement so great that gave good promise for the future" they began to think that if they could achieve this hen they could achieve anything. It tells us that the Germans were beginning to lose their confidence in victory. "...best, most experienced and most reliable men officers..." this says that almost all the best men that Britain had were killed. "...made it necessary to send to the front a great number of young soldiers whose training was poor." This tells us that we did not have enough men so they had to send in untrained young soldiers into the war. Source H is a primary source though was written in 1973. It was written by a British general who fought in both world wars. As he was a British general he might have worked closely with Haig and he therefore might stick up for him, it was written many years later and his memory could have been altered by then from all the other things he had heard over the years. ...read more.


Source G was written by a German war official. I think what he said was true though I think that his views would be biased as a German wrote it. Source H was written by a British war general that had fought in both world wars, so he would have known as to what a general should have acted like and he obviously thinks that Haig was a good general. Source I was written by Lloyd George after he had visited the battle fields, he thinks that Haig had been doing a very good job and that the battle was going well. Source J was also written by Lloyd George though a lot later, in which he thinks that Haig hadn't done a very good job as a general. Over all I think that these source do support this view, from looking at the above sources it seems like Haig was uncaring and he didn't care about the lives of his men at all. Many people knew that his plans wouldn't work, yet Haig didn't think to ask any of the Tommy's as to whether they thought that the plans would work, as they knew more about the front line then anybody. Haig was willing to sacrifice the lives of his men for no good reason, other wise he would have done more research and found out all the faults to his plans. ?? ?? ?? ?? GCSE History Coursework - Sophie Manders (c) ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Britain 1905-1951 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Britain 1905-1951 essays

  1. General Haig - Butcher or Hero?

    Many regard that the first truly successful demonstration of the tank, saw action at the Battle of Cambrai. The successful integration of the tank in his battle tactics had proved its worth as a war winning weapon as well as his worth as a general.

  2. General Haig doesn't care about his soldiers.

    He makes out in source B that everything, " went like clock work". Surely no man can consider a first day where 57,000 people have died as going like clock work. He says in source A about "men's" lives which may mean that he feels that the ordinary "men" i.e.

  1. General Haig: Butcher or War Winner?

    Any Tommy could have told them that shell fire lifts wire up and drops it down, often in a worse tangle than before.' Source 5 is probably on of the most reliable sources because it was written by Gerard De Groot, who wrote the biography of Haig.

  2. Was General Haig a donkey or a great commander?

    This group of historians believe that Haig should have learnt from his failure at Neuve Chapelle and Loos, and altered his plan of attack. General Hackett wrote of the Battle of Loos, "The British advance met with a storm of machine gun fire.

  1. Does field Marshall Haig deserve his title as the Butcher of the Somme?

    Even though this made them easy targets. He didn't believe in modern tactics, where a group of men run forwards then another group covers those men. So men were under cover for longer and could use the element of surprise as a weapon.

  2. General Haig

    It has lots of dialogue and is a serious account. It actually states about the soldiers views and attitudes towards their commanders. However it is slightly biased because it is written by General Haig's son, which does mean that his son could be backing up and supporting his father and

  1. Defeat, Deliverance or Victory? Which of these best describes Dunkirk?

    The fates did seem to be on the side of the British with calm seas allowing the smaller vessels to make the journey, Lord Gort ignoring Churchill and the French Commanders and heading for the coast, the wind direction causing smoke form the burning town of Dunkirk combining with the

  2. Was Haig the butcher of the Somme?

    He was also told that the Germans were low in their numbers and their morale was low too. Artillery bombardment took place for a week and on the 1st of July 1916, the order for the troops was given, for them to go over the top.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work